Path Valley race notes 2003-05-09

Path Valley drivers triumph over rain and clock Spring Run, PA_ Racing on the soft, smooth Path Valley clay Friday night, 117 race teams completed nine MDK Race Engines feature events by 11:30. "We trusted to the Doppler radar, and with lots...

Path Valley drivers triumph over rain and clock

Spring Run, PA_ Racing on the soft, smooth Path Valley clay Friday night, 117 race teams completed nine MDK Race Engines feature events by 11:30.

"We trusted to the Doppler radar, and with lots of moisture but no real rain in sight, our racers gave us a fabulous night," said promoter Ken Geesey. Only the Dwarf Cars had serious problems with spins and crashes on the soft clay, he noted, but even in the Dwarfs the racing was outstanding as young Mike Hay of Somerset won both of the night's feature events.

The racing include makeups of the Dwarf and PA 305 Sprint features from April 25, and in the 305 sprints makeup Von McGee of Spring Run won his first ever while Ryan Lynn of Hollidaysburg won the night's regular feature.

In the Path Valley headliners Mike Dicely of Lewisberry won in the 270 Sprints while Valvoline Cup National Micro Sprint Champion Jim Young of Johnstown won in the 600 Sprints. Young won the week before in the 270cc class.

Jerry Bard of Shippensburg won his second feature in the modified mini stocks. Tim Fedder of Newport won for the third straight week in the V-8 Street Stocks and Derrick Casner of Mifflintown won his first feature ever in the four-cylinder thunder cars.

Next weekend is the annual canned food drive at Path Valley to benefit the local Franklin County food banks at all three separate racing events. Race teams and fans in the stock cars and sprints Friday night, the karts and four-wheelers Saturday afternoon and the Strictly Stock, formerly junkyard, cars Saturday night are all asked to contribute non-perishable food items to help less fortunate neighbors and support the non-profit food banks in their faith-based local initiative. Gates open at 5 p.m. for the Friday night cars, the Legends Cars and the sprints, at 10 a.m. Saturday morning for the karts and quads, and again at 5 p.m. Saturday for the Strictly Stocks.

With only a few teams missing because of the threatening weather, Path Valley opened with the makeup Dwarf and 305 Sprints features before the night's regular heat races. Von McGee led from the pole in the first 305 Sprint feature. Scott Ellerman of Landisburg, the defending champion, caught up to McGee on lap 15 and twice pulled alongside but, by lap 20, McGee was among lapped sprints and put two cars between his number Half and Ellerman's 115 for the final five laps. The front five finishers were McGee, Ellerman, Jeff Furlong, Justin Seigler and Travis Keeney.

McGee had last won at Path Valley some seven years ago in a four-cylinder sprint after moving up from micros. He had raced 410 sprints for six years and said, "These cars don't have the jump of 800 horsepower, but it's just as much fun and costs a whole lot less," he said.

Young Hay likewise started on the pole but gave up the lead in lap four to Barry May in the #4 Dwarf. On the white flag lap May's motor went away on the front stretch and Hay from his close second position bumped May and held the modified chassis on the track to take the checkers a lap later. The front five in the first of two features were Hay, Wes Zimmerman, Josh Sigman, tom Showman, and Ron Nester.

The 305 Sprints inversion pill put Ryan Lynn on the pole but Scott Ellerman took off to lead the first 15 laps. Then in lapped car traffic Ellerman got hung up on slower cars and Lynn went wide to the outside to take the lead just before the only caution on lap 17. As the leaders broke free of slower sprints Ryan held the inside groove and Ellerman finished a length back with Chris Meleason just behind him. Nathan Gramley and Travis Keeney were fourth and fifth and the heat winners were Justin Seigler and Meleason. Ryan Lynn and his brother, Todd, have each now won a Path Valley feature this season.

Jim Young, the 2002 national micro sprint champion, started seventh and worked patiently forward to pass Dave Socks for the lead on lap 12. Two cautions regrouped the sprints after that but Socks could only catch but not pass Young's #8 Predator. The front five were Young, Socks, Jim Callahan, Jim Brookens and Duane Harbaugh. Aaron Eichelberger and Young won the heats.

In the first 270 heat race Young, who won the feature the week before, beat Mike Dicely of Hyper Chassis but then drew an inversion pill that put Dicely on the outside the second row for the start. On lap eight Dicely passed leader Todd Steffy on the inside of turn three and by lap 15 he had put four lapped cars between his #44 and Steffy's #98. The race went to the checkers without a caution and Dicely said in the winner's circle, "This is really fun, to work so hard for a win." The front five were Dicely, Steffy, Mike Boyer, Doug Dodson and Dave Socks and the heat winners were Jim Young, Tony Jackson and Danny Crum while Sean Good won the consi.

"Mikey" Hay started tenth in the night's regular Dwarf Cars feature and after three cautions thinned the field took firm control on a lap ten restart, gaining a full turn on Tom Showman in one lap. After weaving among lapped Dwarfs from lap 14 on, Hay won by half the track followed in the front five by Showman, Bryan Pietsch, Josh Sigman and Jeff Barclay. Wes Zimmerman and Hay won the heats.

Tim Fedder started the street stock feature in seventh, grabbed the lead early on and by lap 16 led Terry O'Donel by half the track. The front five were Fedder, O'Donel, Jeff Johnson, Doug Hoffman and James Andrews and Matt Kauffman won the single heat race.

Jerry Bard grabbed the lead from pole starter Gary Dehart and cruised to the modified mini stock win with only one yellow to regroup the field. The front five finishers were Bard, Dehart, Kyle Wiser, Kevin Thomas and Ricky Harper. Mike Beidel and Steve McCartney won the heats.

Derrick Casner came from fifth to catch Raymond Middaugh on lap three of the four-cylinder thunder car main. The only caution was on lap six when Duane Ricker rolled the #70 off the outside wall out of turn two, landing on his roof. On lap 12 Casner got to the inside and held a tighter line to pass Middaugh out of turn two and won pulling away through the turns. The front five were Casner, Middaugh, Chris Casner, Bob Starr and Josh Detra and Melvin Bigler and Starr won the heats.

"We need to thank all of our race teams for a safe, cooperative night or racing on an unusually fast track," Geesey said. "To finish warm-ups, heats and nine features in five hours must be some kind of record."

The Path Valley Speedway Park is located in Spring Run PA a mile north on PA Route 641 from the intersection with PA Route 75, halfway between Port Royal and Hagerstown. It is five miles east from the Willow Hill Exit 14 of the PA Turnpike. The new phone number at the track for promoter Ken Geesey is 717-349-7111. For information on the 2003 schedule and rules, race teams and fans can consult the website at www.pathvalley.com or they can email Two Wheel Promotions at twp@pathvalley.com.

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About this article
Series Sprint , Stock car
Drivers Chris Meleason , Von McGee